Todd Nance, Widespread Panic Founding Drummer, Dies Suddenly at 57

The musician died "from sudden and unexpectedly severe complications of a chronic illness," his family announced his death in a statement on the band's website Wednesday

todd nance
Todd Nance. Photo: C Flanigan/FilmMagic

Todd Nance, Widespread Panic’s founding drummer, has died. He was 57.

The drummer died early Wednesday morning in Athens, Georgia, "from sudden and unexpectedly severe complications of a chronic illness," his family said in a statement on the band's website.

The family said that a memorial service is not being planned at this time, but that more information will be provided at a later time "as decisions are made regarding the best way to honor Todd's extraordinary life and career."

"The Nance family appreciates the love and support of all and requests that their privacy be honored during this hard time," the statement concluded.

"With heavy hearts and loving memories we say goodbye to our brother Todd Alton Nance," said a statement attributed to the "Widespread Panic Family."

"Widespread Panic was born the night of Todd's first show," the statement said. "He and Mikey [Houser] had played music together in high school (maybe junior high) and with a lucky thought, Michael tracked him down and asked him to join us — because we had a gig, but needed a drummer."

"For thirty years Todd was the engine of the Widespread Panic. He wrote great songs, and was a giving and forgiving collaborator," the statement said. "T Man was the epitome of a 'team player.' Drove the band and drove the van."

The jam band drummer was described by the band as a "funny, adventurous, and a very kind soul."

"We wish Todd and his family peace during this sad time after so many happy times. Safe travels, brother Todd," the statement concluded. "With love, the boys and girls of Widespread Panic."

The Tennessee native joined Widespread Panic in 1986, five years after dormmates and guitarists John Bell and Michael Houser started playing together.

Widespread Panic
John Hermann, Dave Schools, John Bell, Jimmy Herring, Todd Nance, and Domingo Ortiz of Widespread Panic. Rick Diamond/Getty Images

He remained with the band full time until 2014 when he took a hiatus. Nance returned to play with the band in 2016 but left permanently that same year and was replaced by drummer Duane Trucks.

His high school friend and fellow band member Houser died of pancreatic cancer in 2002.

Widespread Panic's current lineup is Bell, Trucks, Dave Schools, Domingo S. Ortiz, John Hermann and Jimmy Herring.

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